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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Blog (10/20/11)

TITLE: Legacy
By Jackie Smithwick


“I have a confession to make.” Joani said, as we rode together in the car.

“Oh, what’s that?” I asked.

“While you were away this past weekend, I found one of your journals and began reading it. I first thought it might be your diary and should stop, but after only a few lines, I could not put it down.”

My heart must have skipped a beat when I heard these words and thought, “Oh my, what did I write?”

“Which one?” I asked.

She explained the color and size of the small journal, and from her description I could tell it was from the previous year. I was a little concerned, but realized that it was okay, because this was what I wanted eventually anyway. The only thing was, I had expected my journals to be read after I was gone from this life, not while still here.

“Mama I read it all weekend, the way you expressed yourself in words was beautiful. Sometimes I would cry and sometimes laugh. I could see things the way you saw them. Your words flowed with such beauty and I could feel what you were feeling.”

Wow, her words warmed my heart immensely and yet, on the other hand, I was cautious not to bask in her glowing critique, because this was my daughter speaking and she may be a little biased about her mother’s writing ability.

After it sank in, I was glad Joani read my journal, for she gave me a lot of encouragement. Little did I know how much comfort the memory of that conversation would bring me in the years to come.

In my home office I kept many books, and among them were years of personal journals stacked neatly in chronological order. I hoped that after my passing my children and grandchildren would read them. I would have loved to receive such a wonderful gift from my mother or grandmother.

Two years later:

Finally I could go home, or where it once was. After wadding through black ash, and stepping over unrecognizable objects I reached the place where my most treasured possessions had been. It wasn’t jewelry, clothing, furniture, or even pictures, which I must say, ran a very close second.

At my feet were gray layers of what was once pages from the many books that filled the book cases in my office. Delicate, illusive leaves, when touched, vanished in air while adding to the musty smoke smell that surrounded me. My years of words had fell victim to the fire that took our home and the legacy I had hoped to leave was now blowing in the wind.

No one knows why or how our home of 13 years was suddenly reduced to a pile of ashes. My belief, however, was then and still is, that my Heavenly Father allowed it to happen for a reason. A reason I may not completely understand while on this earth, and yet even now I can see how He has blessed in many ways since that day.

My desire is to find just the right words to tell of each blessing I am seeing since the tragedy, but mostly the blessings come in ways hard for me to describe. So, for now I will just keep journaling. I don’t write in paper journals anymore, I send my words to the internet clouds. What fun it has been to share photos, poems, prayers, praises, and just my thoughts on a regular basis.

There is no way I can recapture the years of words recorded in those books, and yet I believe God can still use me. So I’ve began a new legacy and hope it to be an encouraging insight into the heart of one who loves Jesus Christ and desires to share His love with those who read her words.

This story is true, but not finished.

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This article has been read 360 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/04/11
What a heart-wrenching testimony I believe you are right in a way. God may not have allowed the fire but he can definitely use the tragedy to glorify his name-and by sharing this you are doing just that.

In the beginning you used tags like asked and said. Your writing will be more powerful if you show thereader what the character is doing. For example instead of saying Joani asked say something like Joani lowered her eyes , as we drove in the car she suddenly cleared her throat.

Your story may appear a little weak on the topic but Ithink you pulled it in nicely in the end. You did a nice job communicating your thoughts_ It was a pleasurable read.
Randy Foncree11/04/11
I liked this...it is encourageing how good can even come out of the ashes of our life...God bless you in your writing...
Kristine Baker11/06/11
May you find healing from losing so much to a fire in your home.

A lot of people have gone from journaling to blogging. God will help you rewrite the legacy you planned for your family.
C D Swanson 11/06/11
A poignant and heart warming story. I am so sorry for your devastating loss in the fire--but your words, and your heart, thank God were unscathed. So, actually you will be able to build on that, and in time capture all of which was lost in a "new way."

I loved it, thank you for sharing this beautiful story with a powerful message.

God Bless you~
Jenna Dawn11/06/11
This is a beautiful story and one I began to wonder was true before the end. So sad you lost your home and all those journals, but so glad to know your daughter encouraged you with your writing.

There were a few grammatical errors.
Like "have fell" should be "have fallen" and "I've began" should be "I've begun".

Nice story. :)
Mildred Sheldon11/06/11
And the Legacy shall continue, but now using computers instead of pen and paper. A heart wrenching and heart warming story. I know it will bless your family. Thank you and God bless.
djvenzke Venzke11/08/11
You used the Challenge term to discuss a very important subject. Most people leave no record of themselves for future generations. You will recover your memories with God's help. Enjoyed this a lot.
Glynis Becker11/12/11
I'm glad you're not done writing yet! A great entry, although I would agree that there were some spelling and grammatical errors. Please keep writing...you have so much to say!
C D Swanson 11/17/11
Congratulations on your HR placing! Nicely done! God Bless you~